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  • Kaitlyn Driessen

Tesoro 2021 XC Recap

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Tesoro Varsity boys after Mt. Sac Invitational Win

Tesoro’s Boys Cross Country team put in intense training to get to where they are today. Through ups and downs, the team pushed one another to hit peak performance. The leaders on the team are very competitive, motivating the rest of the team to train as hard as possible.

After a brief summer break, the training season started with the Varsity team going to a running camp in Mammoth. This camp included long runs, workouts, games, and other training activities. With the bonds the team created here, it is no surprise they had each other's backs during races. The support the boys showed one another was outstanding.

Head Coach Darren Phelps creates workouts that will ensure his athletes’ success. These runners spend hours each week pushing their bodies to new limits. With workouts Monday through Saturday, the boys went all the way to CIF Finals. The boys who qualified for CIF Finals ran some amazing times. Tesoro’s top runner, Conor Campion, ran a 15:34 followed by Casey Goetschel’s time of 16:10. With a 16:31, Kaleb McElfish and Andrew Gruszczynski finished their three miles strong together. At League Finals, Goetschel became only the seventh runner in Tesoro history to run under 15 minutes for the three mile, winning the individual league title with a 14:58.

This 2021 season makes it the boys’ ninth time competing in the CIF Southern Section Finals in the past 10 years. The boys were not ready for the season to end just yet, so they continued their brutal training for a couple more weeks to compete in the Nike Cross Regionals California Regional Championship (NXR).

By racing here, the athletes gained experience and perspective on their standing against 106 other athletes. Conor Campion stepped up to the challenge and placed fourth. Casey Goetschel came closely behind placing eighth. Andrew Gruszczynski finished next at 16.

The boys Freshman team, led by Griffin Kushen, Parker Wolfe, and Kuba Zika, finished the season ranked number two in California and number eight in the nation, dominating throughout the season with wins at Orange County Championships, Mt. Sac Invitational, and League Finals.

Kate Benade at Cool Breeze Invitational

The Tesoro Girls Cross Country team also stepped it up this season. League finals brought a second place finish for the Freshman team. Browne Backlin and Maddie Murdy both earned all-league honors. The Sophomore team crushed it, placing first as a team. Kailee Turong won the race along with an all-league title. Kaely Bierma, Gaberiella Bakus, Mia Folkes, and Ivy Clark all received all-league titles.

The JV team also placed first. Joy Yassa took the individual title while also earning an all-league honor. Lexi Wynne, Ava Christman, and Alexis Gilboy followed behind and earned all-league honors. Finally, Varsity placed second, earning the way to CIF Prelims. Talia Richland, Kate Benade, and Paige Hartzog placed in the top 10 and earned all-league honors. Abby Hill and Victoria Lomboy rounded out the top five and helped solidify their place in the CIF Prelims race.

The CIF team consisted of 12 girls. The top seven include: Talia Richland, Kate Benade, Joy Yassa, Paige Hartzog, Abby Hill, Victoria Lomboy, and Elena Popov. The Alternates include: Ava Christman, Dani Bussell, Alexis Gilboy, Kailee Truong, and Kaely Bierma. As a team, they qualified for CIF Finals against the top Division 2 schools in the Southern Section.

The girls had an amazing performance at CIF Finals. Their top three runners were Kate Benade, Joy Yassa, and Paige Hartzog. The girl’s program and especially the CIF team gave it their all this season through heat, sweat, and tears. Both Tesoro programs had a successful 2021 Cross Country season. We are so proud of all of our Tesoro runners.



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